FL: Longtime Boynton Beach detective resigns after positive drug test

The Palm Beach Post –

Police say the 18-year veteran of the force told investigators he was a daredevil and that a ‘snap judgment’ at a bar got him in trouble.

When Boynton Beach police Detective Rocky Zavattaro sat down with internal affairs to be questioned about a positive drug test, the investigating officer asked him a question.

How does a police officer of 18 years, who has arrested people for possessing illegal drugs, meet with an old friend in a Palm Beach Gardens bar and snort cocaine with him in the bathroom?

Zavattaro said it was a “snap judgment” on his part.

He said he was a daredevil, and that if you asked him him to jump off a bridge, he would do it just to impress people.

Zavattaro, who has been with the department since 2003, resigned Thursday before the Boynton Beach city manager could finalize Police Chief Michael Gregory’s recommendation to terminate him for violating policy.

“We took affirmative steps to address the severity of misconduct in this case, and we will continue to hold police officers to the high standard expected by our community,” Gregory said in a provided statement.

On Jan. 14, Zavattaro told investigators with internal affairs he went out during Labor Day weekend with friends to an undisclosed bar in Palm Beach Gardens. He said he was drinking and at some point went into the bathroom where his friend was reportedly snorting cocaine.

He said his friend jokingly asked if he wanted any, pointing out that the friend knew Zavattaro was a police officer.

Investigators asked him if he knew he was doing something illegal, according to the internal affairs report. Zavattaro said yes.

On Feb. 2, Gregory signed off on a recommendation to have Zavattaro dismissed.

Three months later, Zavattaro resigned, according to police.

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